There’s no doubt that CTV & OTT Ads hold some genuinely incredible opportunities for marketers hoping to get a foothold in this new media landscape. Not only is now the right time to strike (given the relative lack of players in the space), but CTV can be the key to unlocking your audience. You have a better chance of targeting the exact people you want to reach when you harness the power of this new form of advertising.
Despite these indisputable facts though, there are some serious challenges for marketers today. The lack of rules has made it so difficult to break into that many companies have stopped trying entirely. Securing lucrative contracts with publishers is complicated, time-consuming, and ultimately frustrating for advertisers with busy agendas. We’ll give you the background as to why this is, and how you can overcome the obstacles, so you don’t miss out.
The ecosystem of Connected TV is still in its infancy, and the rules of buying are both murky and primarily set by the publishers rather than the advertisers. Given the high prices and the limited availability, it seems to make more sense to purchase ads directly from the publisher rather than pursue programmatic marketing. The push and pull has left many companies behind in its wake if they can’t afford the minimum spend required by the publishers.
Marketers are also concerned about exactly how to parcel out their limited budgets on Connected TV. Does this new type of marketing fall under the allocated funds for TV or digital media? This confusion has made it challenging to decide what CTV is really worth, especially if the powers that be still see CTV as nothing but another digital media buy.
CTV and OTT advertising inventory runs the gamut in terms of platforms and industries. The traditional media world has a relatively consistent set of rules, but if you want to break into CTV, you need to be ready to play in the Wild West. From content aggregators to streaming services to smart TV manufacturers, you’ll encounter new rules and priorities at every stage of the way. Even one small technical change can wreak havoc for a marketer’s already limited resources.
Because content exists across countless combinations of devices and apps, the viewing footprint doesn’t emerge the way marketers need it to. So even though the data is available, the way in which it’s segmented on different platforms makes it extremely difficult for companies to scale their campaigns linearly.
Besides, the lack of standardization extends to data tracking as well. Marketers debuting the same ad across multiple platforms may not have a clear sense of the underlying interest in their products and services. The available digital measurement standards, such as the are, are more concerned with click volumes and impressions than they are with more nuanced data. If marketers can’t decipher the experience behind the ad, it’s harder to know which tactics are working.
CTV provides advertisers a chance to engage in a way that they can’t do on TV or traditional digital media. Despite this opportunity, the more popular tracking metrics simply aren’t providing enough feedback for marketers to tailor and adjust their ads based on specific audience interaction.
It’s clear that there are some real challenges when it comes to the CTV market, and these challenges explain why its ubiquity is not quite there yet. However, even though considering the problems, that doesn’t mean that advertisers should shy away from these new platforms.
If you’re a marketer, you may recall there was similar resistance to tools like Adwords, YouTube ads, Facebook ads, etc. There are more than 25 million households with some type of CTV device, and big-name content streamers like Netflix and Amazon have been seriously gearing up to partner with advertisers to offset the costs of the network.
The millennials and Gen Z generations aren’t interested in signing up for cable packages. If these affluent audiences decide to pay for a service, they want it to be a curated experience that can meet their raised expectations. The content needs to be on par with their tastes, and they need to be able to access it whenever they want. Marketers who want to start narrowing down their audience can find a veritable gold mine of data to work with, especially when tracking services are currently hard at work perfecting their metric technology.
People Are Listening
One of the more fascinating discrepancies between linear TV audiences and CTV audiences lies in how the ads are perceived. Because CTV offers more targeting strategies, marketers are more likely to speak to a person who is actively interested in the content.
People with televisions are busy TiVo’ing through the ads, entirely immune to the message. But recent studies show that people using CTV know that the advertising they’re viewing makes it easier for them to afford the video content they’re watching — and they don’t mind. They’re still paying a subscription fee, but it’s a subscription fee that fits within their budget.
Overcoming the Fragmentation Challenges
If you’re interested in sustainable programmatic marketing, you should know that there are ways to get around the problem. Demand Local thoroughly understands the obstacles in the way of automating your advertising on CTV, and we think we have the solution.
Through our technology, we run the campaigns that will let you see the behavior that drives your audience’s actions, so you can appeal to them on more than one level. Through our vendor relationships in private marketplaces, we make it possible for you to purchase the inventory you want at the price you need.
Experts in the field know that it’s still possible to optimize your reach, even if you may need to go through several entities to get there. Demand Local has built partnerships with data onboarders, so you can reach new heights in your targeting goals across all platforms.
Knowing the Right People
Programmers and distributors are currently in a bit of a Cold War, which can cut into deals and otherwise amp up the stress of buying ad space. Programmers want to know details about viewership that distributors can’t give them. Distributors want to cap their inventory where programmers want unlimited choices.
When you work with a company like Demand Local, you have a way to both specify the data you want to collect and wade through it once you have it in place — without having the costs skyrocket in return. We work within the system, so you don’t have to jump through the hoops.
The Promise of OAR
It’s not that programmers are sitting down when it comes to the fragmentation issues they’re seeing across the board. The OAR (Open Addressable Ready) Consortium is a way for programmers of all industries to band together and create standards for running ads on Vizio smart TVs. Open AP had a similar idea, bringing programmers together to decide what a data segment should be.
These groups are the first step toward closing some of the gaps across CTV, but it’s worth noting that pure standardization may never be a goal for CTV. If there’s not fragmentation across devices, it will likely be the leading player in the industry who emerges and makes the decisions for everyone. This definitely isn’t good for distributors, and it may not be right for programmers either (depending on the parameters).
If you’re looking for someone who can lead you to the programmatic buying that will actually spark an interest in your audience, Demand local has access to the private marketplaces that will be of help.
Targeting & Cross-Device Attribution
CTV is the best central hub you can find if you’re looking for multi-device targeting. It can serve as the heart of an omnichannel approach. According to The Drum, you can increase your reach by up to 41% — a figure you might have trouble reaching with just your mobile budget.
Demand Local can introduce you to cross-screen audience validation, a way for you to leverage ad-stitching technology on the server-side. We show marketers how many households they reached, how many times viewers saw an ad, the screens, and networks that were used, and the percentage of received impressions. This tactic is being used frequently for OTT and shows tremendous potential for fixing many of the fragmentation challenges.
So while CTV can be a profitable venture for you and your company, the challenges it poses are almost certainly not worth the struggle. If you don’t want to spend your weeks researching every last platform app, channel, and device, look to a company with proven experience navigating this complex marketplace. Demand Local has done the homework for you, so you can actually extend your reach without wasting time or money.